The Egyptian dead were embalmed.
Kmt, I've tried to read through as much as possible, sorry if I missed this, but forgetting Moses for a while, is there any evidence that monotheism originated in Egypt?
I don't know if I am agreeing or disagreeing with questionmark in his earlier response, but as it stands now Egypt would appear to have been the first culture in which a form of monotheism was practiced.
I used to fight this tooth and nail, mostly because of the unfounded and idiotic connections fringe writers have made between Akhenaten and Moses, but more careful research on my part has convinced me that, yes, Akhenaten did arrive at a form of monotheism. It certainly did not start out that way, as reliefs and stelae from early in Akhenaten's reign show him accompanied by other deities such as Maat, but by the end of his reign he venerated only the Aten. It was as though several millennia of polytheistic religion had never existed--at least until Akhenaten's death. Within a decade of his demise, the Aten as sole god was already becoming a memory. Starting with Horemheb at the end of Dynasty 18, later rulers made sure it worked out that way.
So I would have to state that monotheism was first practiced in Egypt, if only for a very short time. It has nothing to do with Moses or the later rise of monotheistic Judah, which is obvious, but I am always compelled to say that.